Gatewing UAV delivers high-res digital mapping

The military has been doing it for years. Now other organizations can have a drone of their own.

Gatewing, a Belgian company, has just released the X100, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a 10 megapixel camera and designed for orthogonal photography and digital mapping.

According to the Gatewing staff, the drone first appeared about six months ago and is recently available in the United States. It definitely attracted a good deal of attention at the ESRI User Conference in San Diego (July 11-15). 

The $69,000 drone has a wingspan of 39 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds. Launched with a catapult, the propeller-driven X100 is battery-powered.  It can stay aloft for half an hour at its default flight altitude of 492 feet.  During that time, it can photograph nearly a square mile at a time, taking 1,000 photographs. 

The raw images are processed into orthophotos and are georeferenced by included software, the company said. The result is LIDAR-quality (with a pixel resolution of five centimeters at default altitude with 12-centimeter elevation accuracy) orthophotos that can be turned into terrain maps.

The X100 won’t replace other aerial imaging technologies.  It is limited to RGB imaging, and its maximum resolution and altitude range (492 feet to 2,460 feet) make it best suited to such uses as local infrastructure mapping, topographical surveying and vegetation monitoring.

According to Gatewing, the ESRI conference is the company’s first appearance in the U.S. market, although it has sold the X100 to two U.S. customers: the University of Long Beach and a surveyor in Alaska.

More information is available at


About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Pandemic tests electronic records management

    Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

  • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/

    Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

    The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

Stay Connected